Clean Energy Career Opportunities Created by Autonomous Vehicles

There are lots of Clean Energy career opportunities available now, but how will this be impacted by self driving cars? Which may be arriving sooner than expected.

San Francisco thinktank RethinkX says that autonomous vehicles will dominate the roads by 2030, far faster than others are projecting, and will represent “95% of all miles traveled”.

self driving cars to drive clean energy career

If this happens there will be big job losses in a number of sectors. Such as jobs for drivers, car maintenance, etc. But in the clean energy sector wide scale uptake of self-driving vehicles could actually be a job creator. Here’s a list of 5 types of clean energy careers that will benefit.

1. If you are a software or hardware engineer you could consider getting employed in the design of autonomous vehicles, particularly in aspects of autonomous vehicles that deliver energy saving. Such as designing for platooning (where vehicles drive very close to each other at high speed to reduce aerodynamic losses), trip and vehicle scheduling or self-driving vehicle traffic management.

software engineer clean energy career

2. The transition to autonomous vehicles will be accompanied by a transition to electric vehicles. This will drive increased energy use – a typical electric car now uses around 20 kWh per 100km, and if all cars become electric could be expected to increase electricity consumption by up to around 30%. This will continue to create opportunities in the construction of clean power generation, such as solar and wind. As the transition to renewable energy now looks inevitable, the build out to get to the point of 100% clean energy will be larger because of autonomous/electric cars.

wind power career

3. There will be strong demand for network management and demand response products and services, so as to integrate electric vehicle charging with intermittent renewable energy supply and storage. Maybe even to make electric vehicle storage available to the grid too.

energy storage

4. Energy efficiency can’t be forgotten here, so as to reduce the amount of additional generation and energy storage needed. Whether this is in designing products to be more efficient. Or making existing buildings or factories more efficient. Or in making new buildings that use less energy.

energy efficiency career

5. Enabling a transition to the efficiencies provided by autonomous electric vehicles will require expertise in crafting new laws. To enable a period, perhaps a long period, where autonomous vehicles will share the road with human driven vehicles. To address privacy concerns.

law clean energy career

What are the other clean energy career opportunities you can think of?

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